Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Sober Friend




I've had the blues lately- and from what I'm reading I haven't been alone. What is it about this spring that makes it all so bittersweet? I've been going through the motions, but I swear if I didn't have to work and take care of my family I would have been buried under the covers with yogurt pretzels and cookies watching Bravo for days now. So thank god for them.

It's hard to explain. This is one reason why I wish I had a sober friend- a friend I can see, or call. Who can hug me and cry with me and make me laugh. But, like Belle and Fern I bristle at the thought of AA. It is not me. If it were I would have been there by now. (And, it should go without saying but maybe it needs saying so here's this: I'm not against AA. I don't know much about it, but I just get that feeling that it isn't what I'd like. I believe in whatever keeps you sober. So AA it up if that's your thing and I will high five you all day. Deep breath.)

But this post is not about AA.

I think I've mentioned before that I kind of thought that by getting sober the world would sort of hug me back. A lot. Kind of like "I see all your effort, you just won the lottery!" Well, not that drastic, but maybe just make things a little easier.

In my early sobriety (like early early- when days weren't even months) I felt more purposed. Now I feel very flail-y and disconnected. Like I am making all this effort to be sober but I need to be plugged in to other outlets besides running, blogging, and thinking about being sober.

I think I need a sober friend.

Where the heck do you get one of those? I'm reading this book called MWF Seeking BFF. It's about making friends, and it's pretty interesting. Here's the rub: You can't (or you can, I can't) just blurt out things about drinking and problems and getting sober to just anybody. (Unless you're at an AA meeting: see above) It's not like you are in conversation and you're all: "Oh! I love to read and cook and run too! We have so much in common! Were you a horrid black out drunk too?" The silence might be deafening. And also embarrassing. And then as you watch the other person run away you might think you've over shared.

Plus, I have requirements. You have to be funny. And trustworthy. I don't like gossip. I do like food. I am sarcastic. Shy-ish. I do not give a shit about shoes, or shopping. I like to be outside. I cannot stand women who are nice in person and then get all snarky and behind your back-ish when you aren't around. No religious fanatics need apply: God knows the deal. Be on time, and don't be a waffler. (you know, someone who makes plans and then flakes. Over and over.) You have to like children. And dogs. You should be a little crazy and/or weird. And you MUST BE SOBER.

Did I really just say that?

It used to be that one of my biggest requirements for a friend was: MUST LOVE DRINKING. A LOT.

Meaning: please don't raise your eyebrows when I'm on my fifth glass of wine- we're just getting warmed up. Meaning: don't get all judgmental because I don't remember what we talked about. Meaning: don't be mad because I said some things I shouldn't have- I was drunk.

Lord.

A sober friend search. I'll keep you posted.




23 comments:

  1. I know totally what you mean! When I fist got sober I was so excited: I am sober! Come be my friend! - I thought that the world would just open its arms and let me in, but the world stayed exactly the same. Ugh. That is one of the reasons I am in AA, I have sober friends there but I know you're not keen on the idea so that's all i'll say. I have made some normie friends just recently, few mommies in our neighborhood, but I haven't told them that I don't drink and well it hasn't really come up. But I am sure it will this summer... Probably, no one would care, I can just blame it on the kids! Lol! Done that! Lol! I think I have found that I tend to put more worries into it than necessary, most people don't care if I drink or not. And the idea that everyone drinks to excesses was just in my head. Really! Hang in. We're here :) Sending you a big cyber {{ HUG }}

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    1. There is that difference in "I don't drink" and "I don't drink because I can't".

      ((hug back))

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  2. I've met a lot of nice ladies at my Zumba classes, and even from church. You can kinda tell the "holier than thou's" so I just avoid them lol. The only actual meetings here; are 3 times a week, and full of people on court ordered attendance...I really don't think most of them are sober for real. So it was not a good environment for me. I do enjoy WFS online though, and have gotten a lot of wisdom and direction from the ladies there.

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    1. I'll look up WFS online- thanks. :)

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  3. i was just saying to Mr. Belle this morning, name one person you know who's sober. in any city, anywhere. He could name one aunt who lives over there in that other country. Here where we live, i know a few muslim girls who don't drink. and there's a girl who talks to dead people and she doesn't drink cuz she doesn't like the taste. there's also - wait - there's a really nice catering client who doesn't drink but there's a story to go with it, and she hasn't volunteered the story yet. i have lots of religious friends, including my best friend back home who's super religious, like christian reform even. and i'm ok with her believing what she believes so long as she doesn't try to save me. and she doesn't. if your first requirements are kindness and hilariousness, you'll find someone :) you might (might!) want to go to an aa meeting, scope out a friend or two, get a phone number, and then meet them elsewhere... i'm just saying. most people ain't gonna walk around with a 'sober' sign on them :)

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    1. Maybe we should. Then we'd know who we are. ;)

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  4. Oh yeah the blaaaahhhhhh's...we get them. I don't get them often, but when they do, they knock the wind out of me...but they get better after time. I remember the first 6-9 months I would get into those flatlining phases. A whole lot of "meh". And you're right, there has been a lot of it in the blogosphere...ha ha. But it passes. I felt like you did not too long ago, even spoke to someone about that last night...for me, because I am in AA, it's easier for me to access someone who is sober to share that with. And I guess that's the difference - we get to share it in person. I love the blogs, the recovery forums I am in, emails, skyping, etc. but it's different in person. And I guess you have recognized that.

    I am not sure how one finds other sober friends - I am sure there must be a way to find them online, etc. Seems you can find almost anyone of any interest online. But it does make a difference. I am shy by nature, and it takes me a long time to make friends, but it does help when you just want to chat or share about thing like you just did here.

    Your energy is out there, you've put it into the universe...hopefully the universe pays attention and gives you a kick-ass sober buddy. :)

    Paul

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    1. I'm sort of shy too- but now that I don't drink anymore I might be less so. Does that make sense? Yes: no embarrassing forgotten moments to worry about. At least if I put my foot in it I'll remember.

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  5. Ha, so funny you should write this. I've been feeling a real lack of face-to-face sober friendship. All I have is online sober buddies... and lots of wonderful friends and family but all either boozers themselves or normies. I'd love a face-to-face sober friend in my community and it's for that reason alone (and I can't believe I'm writing this) I am thinking of popping my nervous head inside the door of my local AA meeting next Tuesday. OHMYGOD!!! Don't want to do steps or have a sponsor or anything at all.. but just want to see if there's any cool people in there who might become buddies...

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    1. I'll be curious to see what you think.

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  6. There are a lot of cool people in AA. I'm not sure where else you find sober friends.I mean, I know people who don't drink but they are not sober.
    I always find it so interesting when someone says that they just know AA is not for them, without even trying. So closed minded...one of the joys of sobriety for me is how my world view has opened up...not surprising since I liked to drink alone,at home. I still have all my old friends, and I'm grateful for them.But they will never understand me the way another sober person does.

    Lately I have been confronted with several people who have decided to go to an AA meeting to meet other sober people...no work, no steps....whatever. I don't judge that. Get thru the doors and see what you find. A friend is no small feat, and the difference it will make in your sobriety is huge.

    good luck!

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    1. I love-ish that you called me on that: "No AA without even trying". It *is* something I consider- I looked up meetings just this morning. :) And I am willing to give it a try, so my mind isn't totally closed.

      I suppose I'll need to go to a few meetings and see.

      Huh. Look at that. I think I just decided something.

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  7. God damnit. I wish I could be your real life sober friend. Because I totally hear you. And I think I actually fit all of your criteria - at least now. And I once did then. Except I'm not crazy about dogs, but not in a I-don't-like-them way but more in a never-had-one way so we're more friendly acquaintances than good pals. But I think we can get past my lack of dog, right?

    You know, the one sober friend I had I used to think was kind of uptight because she didn't drink - she just never liked it and didn't like to feel out of control. But actually she was really cool, fun and creative and lovely. But I probably kept her at arms length because she didn't drink. Unfortunately she's now moved far, far away.

    Ah well. Look, over time we'll naturally gravitate toward the non drinkers or the people who don't care we don't drink because they're 'normies' and make friendships on new terms - just like we gravitated towards the boozers all our lives.

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    1. Ha! I think all this too. Shocking! :)

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  8. Unfortunately, I think only recovered drunks get recovered drunks. I'm a triathlete and group with them, too. But when I want to share about my life, my dark shit, only former drunks get it. It's like being a recovering Catholic. AA is where I find these folks. I do non-AA recovery and like non-AA recovery material and websites. But it's hard to find the right match in person. I wish you good luck. Just don't write off AA until you try it. It's not religious and yeah, there are goobers and ass-holes. Just like at work, in the neighborhood, and the general store.

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    1. I walked a mile in your shoes is a big one when looking for a sober friend. I won't write off AA at all. I think I'll know when I'm ready to try. :)

      Thanks for the luck. :)

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  9. I'm totally your perfect sober friend. Funny, check. Punctual, check. Weird, definitely. I don't suppose you live in New Jersey? ;)

    I'm coming up on four months too, and I can relate to everything you've been writing about lately. My pink cloud has evaporated and I've been feeling antsy and lonely and....I don't even know what. I actually did go to AA in the beginning for about a month, and it was a women's meeting populated with perfectly nice ladies. But I have absolutely no interest in getting a sponsor or wallowing around in my character "defects" and I really, really hated having to stand in a circle at the end to hold hands and recite The Lord's Prayer. Like I would dread that part the whole time. Silly, I know, but there you have it. So I stopped going, but now I'm thinking of going back just to make some friends.

    I've been meaning to comment, Amy, you're a wonderful writer and this blog has been a huge help to me.

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    1. Not NJ, but NC. Dang! We almost had it. Maybe we should be pen pals instead. parrish.family.3@gmail.com

      I keep telling myself I want to go a meeting, but I haven't gone. Huh. I do just need to go just to see.

      Thanks Denise. :)

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  10. Hi there,
    Just wanted to share an AA alternative that I have found extremely helpful over the years. It is called Smart Recovery and I would urge you to check it out. It is a cognitive behaviour therapy based model of recovery with a very active forum. It is free as they rely on donations. There are face to face meetings all over the US and lots of useful tools that assist you in understanding your addiction. Lots of people on the forum are super helpful and it is not religious at all. You can find the forum at http://smartrecoveryforum.org/forum.php I am sure you will find it helpful if you take a look.
    Good luck.

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  11. I know what you are writing about here. Staying sober is awesome no matter how you do it and along the way you will work out the details of how you will live this new sober life. I wish we were close because I love the outdoors, dogs, sarcasm, trustworthiness, kids and I don't care about shopping or shoes (except my New Balance 993's). I am looking for sober friends and found one at an AA meeting. I don't go to that meeting anymore so she and I are going to try to hook up outside of a meeting, probably for lunch or coffee.

    Have you checked out Cryingoutnow.com and their Bubble hour podcast? There are a lot of good sober resources there -- albeit they are in cyberland -- it's still nice to be around others who understand our new improved lives!

    --Fern

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    1. I have checked out both of those- and like them both.

      I have really enjoyed reading about your experiences, and your honesty encourages me to be more honest.

      Maybe I need to take out a want ad. ;) Wanted: Sober sarcastic, kind, trustworthy friend. Must like dogs, kids, outside. I'll work on that. :)

      xoxo,
      Amy

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  12. I have been sober 8 months, and I completely understand, .. it's sort of like im floating waiting for things to egnight with enthusiasm, but so far family is proud, but all they seem to be doing for starters is drinking more because they seem uncomfortable im home and doing well. they are marking their alcohol bottles and well. i think basically waiting for the shoe to fall. i feel lonely and disconnected without anyone to talk to about it. Like stories .. hey man i remember jonesin on the ground like a chicken man i can't believe my life when i was using. and what the hell how do i relate to someone some "normal Person" who can laugh at our completely craziness before when we were drinking or doing drugs and in my case it was both. i find people well family so far, dont talk much, and don't know what to say or just hang out and relax, and if i am feeling lonely and want to share stories of recovery or my experiences like blackouts etc., i am met with an angry mother or father and suddenly all hell breaks lose. im feeling alone. i just want to connect .. im fun, artistic, i have a beautiful shitzu whom i adore, i love camping travelling, reading and enjoying my sobriety without the fear of rehashing some pretty ridiculous drunken nights with someone that can relate and say "ya man hahaha I know exactly what that was like" and just feel connected on that level. i am finding right now i am being treated like an alien, go to peoples houses and no one talks to me, and of course my imagination goes wild.. like oh' yea here's that AlllllllllllCO HOOOLIC .. lol. just needed some friends. i even lost my husband of many years 3 days before returning from rehab he moved 2000 miles away. nice! mmm im guessing he missed out on the vows "in sickness and in health". i love to laugh, sort of dry sense of humor and just love life. im 48 year old female and i live in calgary. my email is whatzcookin@shaw.ca

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